Wallpaper and Fabric Designer Serena Dugan Says Her "Traveler's Spirit" Informs Every Aspect of Her Life

Here, the painter, designer, and mother of two shares a few of her favorite things.

portrait of fabric designer serena dugan

The world really is Serena Dugan's oyster. A globe-trotter who studied psychology, art, and textile design, she collects pearls of inspiration (fabric swatches, art books) and mental snapshots (a palm leaf in Brazil, a Luis Barragán building in Mexico City) everywhere she goes. "I store them in my memory bank and draw from it for my work," she says of the colorful, graphic wallpapers and fabrics in her eponymous line.

Serena's Top Picks

Five years ago, Dugan stepped away from Serena & Lily, the brand she cofounded 13 years prior and helped grow from a baby-nursery catalog to an upscale home marketplace. Her plan was to paint full-time (she sells her canvases at galleries and on her website), "but I realized I still had a million other ideas I wanted to express," she says. Now, the mom of two starts most days sketching in her studio, dressed in a shirt, comfy jeans, and a good-luck charm or two in the form of jewelry from her grandmother. "They're wearable totems," she says. "I like to fill my home and closet with meaningful items." Dugan's patterns are infused with what she calls the "traveler's spirit," noting, "We are at our freest when we are exploring and seeing new things. I want to capture that feeling in my prints."

01 of 18

Button Up

Frank & Eileen Barry Featherweight Button-Up in Shirting Blue
Courtesy of Frank & Eileen

"It's well-made and lets me move when I'm working."

Shop Now: Frank & Eileen Barry Featherweight Button-Up in Shirting Blue, $218, frankandeileen.com.

02 of 18


Ray-Ban Wayfarer Classic Sunglasses
Courtesy of Ray-Ban

"They're versatile and won't ever go out of fashion."

Shop Now: Ray-Ban Wayfarer Classic Sunglasses, $163, ray-ban.com.

03 of 18


Serena Dugan Studio Fabrics
Courtesy of Serena Dugan Studio

"Fenn [left] is soft and modern. Capretto feels vintage."

Shop Now: Serena Dugan Studio Fabrics, $178 a yard, serenadugan.com.

04 of 18

Belles of Ireland

Belles of Ireland flowers

A favorite, along with peonies: "This plant is the most hopeful shade of spring green."

05 of 18


Hendrick's Gin bottle
Courtesy of Hendrick's Gin

"It's the right balance of floral and crisp. I drink it with tonic and extra lime."

Shop Now: Hendrick's Gin, $35, totalwine.com.

06 of 18

Lip Balm

Dior Addict Lip Glow in Berry
Courtesy of Dior

"Moisturizing with just a hint of color."

Shop Now: Dior Addict Lip Glow in Berry, $35, sephora.com.

07 of 18


Mother The Hustler Ankle Fray Jeans in Au Revoir
Courtesy of Mother The Hustler

"They fit well and look good. I feel tucked-in."

Shop Now: Mother The Hustler Ankle Fray Jeans in Au Revoir, $238, shopbop.com.

08 of 18

Lust for Life

Lust for Life by Irving Stone
Courtesy of Amazon

"This moving biography speaks to the passion of an artist; it's transformative."

Shop Now: Lust for Life by Irving Stone, $18.59, amazon.com.

09 of 18

Take-Everywhere Tote

Uashmama Giulia Bag in Petrolio
Courtesy of Uashmama

"It fits everything and is not precious. I can throw it around."

Shop Now: Uashmama Giulia Bag in Petrolio, from $139, us.uashmama.com.

10 of 18


Vintner's Daughter Active Botanical Serum
Courtesy of Vintner's Daughter

"My skin's nutrients: I use a little in the morning and at night."

Shop Now: Vintner's Daughter Active Botanical Serum, $195, nordstrom.com.

11 of 18

Hand Cream

Neutrogena Norwegian Formula Hand Cream
Courtesy of Neutrogena

"I learned about this from my mom. It's better than anything else on the market."

Shop Now: Neutrogena Norwegian Formula Hand Cream, $5.49, bedbathandbeyond.com.

12 of 18

Shearling Clog Boots

No.6 5-Inch Pull-On Shearling Clog Boots on Mid-Heel in Brown Aviator
Courtesy of No.6

"I love slipping into shearling; these are super-comfortable."

Shop Now: No.6 5-Inch Pull-On Shearling Clog Boots on Mid-Heel in Brown Aviator, $390, no6store.com.

13 of 18

Dijon Mustard

Grey Poupon Dijon Mustard
Courtesy of Walmart

"I use it all the time, in sandwiches, salad dressing, and lentils. It's not too spicy."

Shop Now: Grey Poupon Dijon Mustard, $4.38, walmart.com.

14 of 18

Blow-Dryer Brush

Drybar Double Shot Oval Blow-Dryer Brush
Courtesy of Drybar

"I never take time for a blowout, but this makes me look like I've been to the salon."

Shop Now: Drybar Double Shot Oval Blow-Dryer Brush, $150, sephora.com.

15 of 18

Rose Oil

Amma's Rose Oil Roll-On
Courtesy of Amma's

"It's an intoxicating mix of sandalwood and rose."

Shop Now: Amma's Rose Oil Roll-On, from $20, theammashop.org.

16 of 18

Neutral Nail Polish

OPI Nail Lacquer in Bubble Bath
Courtesy of OPI

"I alternate between this color and red-orange Essie Clambake."

Shop Now: OPI Nail Lacquer in Bubble Bath, $10.79, ulta.com.

17 of 18

Sterling Flatware

Reed & Barton Diadem Sterling Flatware, price dependent on quantity
Courtesy of Reed & Barton

"It was my mom's wedding silver, and I use it every day. I promised her I'd polish it."

Shop Now: Reed & Barton Diadem Sterling Flatware, price dependent on quantity, replacements.com.

18 of 18


Vitamix A2500 blender
Courtesy of Vitamix

"I make a morning smoothie with mango, spinach, banana, and protein powder."

Shop Now: Vitamix A2500, $549.95, williams-sonoma.com.

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